If you are wanting to add more definition and rounded shoulder’s, here’s a great shoulder workout for you.
When I needed to build more rounded shoulder caps for shows, I turned my three days of training into four. It was great how much time I saved, yet got awesome results. If you have been lifting for a while, enjoy the workout below. However, if you aren’t used to lifting like this, be sure to follow the important information so you ease into it, use perfect form, and reevaluate along the way to protect your shoulder joints.
EASE INTO DIFFICULTY
Ease into it. If it’s been a while, don’t even try to ‘feel the burn’ while lifting on your first day. You want to come back and make lifting part of your lifestyle right? So ease into it and maybe do 4 exercises to get started and keep the weight much lighter than what you think you should do. When I start lifting again after a long time off, I look at the weight that I think I can do for the workout, and then lift maaaaybe 60% of that. I don’t even try to break a sweat doing it because I want to reevaluate over the next couple days if I should do more or not.
EVALUATE YOUR SHOULDER WORKOUT
Evaluate how you feel the next 2-3 days after. If you are fine, then you know you can do more of the exercises. If you are hurting, you did too much when just starting. Seriously, don’t overdo your shoulders. They are complicated joints and easy to injure if you don’t ease into this and use good form.
USE THESE SHOULDER VIDEOS
Use the videos in that shoulder blog post. Form is most important. As you nail the form, you can increase intensity and difficulty.
WHEN TO TRAIN SHOULDERS
Typically how the program works, is one day for each large muscle group:
chest, shoulders, and triceps
back and biceps
legs and glutes
This method is a total of just 3 hours of training per week (it can take longer if taking too much rest between sets).
As you see above, the shoulders and triceps are included at the end of chest day. However, if wanting to add more shoulder strength and development, you can use the shoulder workout below for a 4th training day.
BURN FAT FASTER WITH LARGER MUSCLE GROUPS
When you focus on those larger muscle groups, you burn fat faster plus get stronger. Shoulders usually have 2-3 at the most exercises right after training chest. However, as I mentioned in the shoulder blog post, is that you can have a 4th training day if you want to focus more on your shoulders.
This way, you are gaining strength throughout your entire body, not just trying to target train certain areas. The shoulder workout below is a 4th day training day to focus on my lagging body part.
ADVANCED SHOULDER WORKOUT
The shoulder workout below is super advanced to do them all. If you have been training for a while, enjoy the workout as is. If not, I would choose only 4 of the exercises below. Keep it lighter and don’t try to feel the burn until you can go back to reevaluate how you are feeling. Stay safe and protect your shoulders.
HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR WORKOUTS
Focus on the large muscle groups as described above.
For more developed, rounded, and stronger shoulders, use the shoulder workout below for a 4th training day.
Increase cardio or HIIT after you get used to training 3-4 days a week first.
For maximum results for energy, fat loss, pre-workouts, or gaining muscle, use supplements. Also always make sure all is ok with your doctor and health care professionals.
THE SHOULDER WORKOUT
MACHINE SHOULDER PRESS: Warm Up 2 sets: Do 15 half reps of the top half of the movement, then 15 half reps of the bottom half, and then 15 full reps (45 is one warm up set).
After warm up, go a little heavier where you are challenged but not injuring your shoulder joints. Do heavier for 10, then lighten the weight without a rest and do 10 more as a drop set. After 20 reps, then rest 60-90 second. Do 4 rounds.
SMITH MACHINE SHOULDER PRESS: Drag a bench to sit under the smith machine bar. Here’s a video how to do it. Press overhead for 15, then walk over to cable rope for 20 face pulls. Rest 60-90 seconds. Do 4 rounds.
DUMBBELL LATERAL RAISES: With slightly bent elbows, go heavier than what you normally do with straight armed dumbbell lateral raises. Do heavier bent elbows for 10, then without rest grab lighter dumbbells for strict form and straight elbows for 10 more. Rest 60-90 seconds. Do 4 rounds.
Strict Form Lateral Raises: Straight arms, but just a slight bend in the elbow.
REVERSE PEC DECK FLIES: Sit facing the pec dec machine. This is great for your rear deltoids. Do 20 and then grab dumbbells for front raises for the front of your shoulders. With the front raises, bring the dumbbell to right above eye level and lower slowly for 3 seconds. Do 20 of those, then rest 60-90. 4 rounds.
Everyone wants results and they want them fast. The quick fix many people feed into, are relying on diet fads and supplements, without looking at the whole picture.
Let’s look at the whole picture before wasting your money and causing yourself more frustration, to get the results you want using nutrition supplements.
WHAT NUTRITION SUPPLEMENTS DO
When pertaining to how to lose body fat, gaining overall transformation you can see and feel, gaining muscle, improving your physique, recovering better and faster, increasing energy, and performing your best; nutrition supplements enhance what you are already doing.
They are only one aspect of the whole picture.
Yes, they can help you with your goals and part of your health and fitness, but don’t just take all sorts of supplements without actually changing lifestyle and expect results.
When used correctly, they can help you:
lose body fat
increase cognitive function
transform entire body
see and feel changes
increase joint health
increase overall wellness
NUTRITION SUPPLEMENTS WITH HEALTHY DIET AND EXERCISE
When you include nutrition supplements with a healthy diet and exercise regime, you’ll get the results you were wanting. Whether you want to pack on some muscle mass or lose body fat, lifestyle changes need to come with it. If not, it’s just a waste.
When I was an inexperienced teenager, I was so determined I would never allow myself to get fat, that I took fat burners and either deprived myself of food or did some ridiculous fad diet. I wasn’t even working out other than going for a jog every once in a while, or whatever sports I was playing at the time.
Extremely unhealthy, right?
But it’s where I started and we all start somewhere.
I was ranked one of the fastest hurdlers in the state of Ohio and had no idea what I was doing. If only I had the knowledge I have now, to apply to when I was in high school and college, to see the kind of performance and health that would have come out of that. I could have better and faster technique. I could have eaten to be stronger and faster, instead of running on an empty tank.
But I didn’t, and grew from it. I didn’t get to see my full potential as a sprinter and a hurdler. But my pain and regret can help you simply understand the basics and how to enhance it with supplements and seeing the whole picture, too.
PERFORM AND RECOVER BETTER WITH NUTRITION SUPPLEMENTS
Don’t run on an empty tank or chase fad diets. Don’t count on supplements alone to get you to where you want to be but they should be one aspect of you getting to your goals.
You can perform better, think clearly, recover better, feel stronger, train better, lose body fat, gain muscle, get healthier joints, and the lean physique you want.
It’s not just aesthetic purposes either. Yes, everyone wants to feel good and look good. But beyond that, it takes overall wellness, strength, and confidence as part of that.
NUTRITION SUPPLEMENTS WITH LIFESTYLE CHANGE
If you are like me and don’t want to live in the gym and obsess over it, you can get the maximum results in only three hours a week when focusing on the larger muscle groups.
EXERCISE: With only three hours a week, you get stronger, leaner, and more confident, without missing out on the more important things in life. I’ve used this method from coming back from an emergency c-section to being named in the top 20 physiques on bodybuilding.com.
So yes, you will get the best results from lifting weights. Not saying that you absolutely have to lift weights because there are many things you can do, but that’s where you will get the best results.
DON’T FORGET TO ENJOY IT: If you enjoy running, then run. If you enjoy Zumba, then move those hips. If you enjoy spin class, then do it! If you want to avoid the gym, here are ways to do home workouts instead. But just to let you know, lifting weights is where the magic is. Nothing can replace the feeling of loading and unloading plates and free weights.
FOOD AND FUEL: Combine lifting and doing activities you enjoy with improving nutrition, and nutrition supplements specific for your goal, then you will have one heck of a before and after picture.
Here’s mine when I wasn’t even counting macros or calories, but using my hand to portion out food below.
NUTRITION SUPPLEMENTS FOR YOUR PERSONAL GOALS
Which supplements to use will depend on your goal. I personally and professionally trust Granite Supplements. I religiously drink their Essential Aminos while I am training, use their Joint Care for healthier joints, and use more depending on my goals. (Discount code is below.)
Lately I’ve been adding their Vasoblast to the mix of favorite supplements and drink it 30 minutes before training. I love the feeling of a good pump and that’s exactly what it does. It’s a stimulant free pre-workout that opens up your vascular system to fuel your muscles. A key to transformation is fueling your body and muscle, not starving it. The Vasoblast opens up blood vessels to feed your muscles.
If you want to lose fat, then eat less calories than what you burn. If you want to stay the same, then eat the same. If you want to gain muscle or weight, then eat more than what you burn. Simple starting point.
NUTRITION SUPPLEMENTS FOR FAT LOSS
Calorie deficit, weight training, and weight management supplements are ideal. The easiest way to calculate a calorie deficit to lose body fat is opening a free account with myfitnesspal.com. I describe that more here.
Essential Aminos while training large muscle groups
1-2 protein shakes per day as a snack with a thumb size of a fat with each shake (nut butter, nuts, extra virgin olive oil, MCT oil, fish oil)
ThermoBurn Fat Burner.
FUEL your body. Each meal focused around protein.
NUTRITION SUPPLEMENTS FOR MUSCLE GAIN
Eat more than what your burn, plus drinking carbs while you train. Remember how I said the VasoBlast opens up the blood vessels to feed and fuel the muscles while you are training? When those vessels are open, it’s prime time to FUEL your muscles with carbs.
Intra-Carb plus Recovery while training large muscle groups
Protein Shakes with thumb size of fat as snacks
Pre-Workout so you can train harder and have explosive energy.
NUTRITION SUPPLEMENTS FOR PERFORMANCE
Intra-Carb plus Recovery while training large muscle groups
Protein Shakes with thumb size of fat as snacks
Pre-Workout so you can train harder and have explosive energy.
Joint Care Supplement to make sure you are taking care of those joints!
NUTRITION SUPPLEMENTS FOR OVERALL WELLNESS
I personally get regular blood work done with my Functional Medicine Doctor to look at deeper levels. I am a big believer in not only nutrition supplements for performance and recovery, but also for overall wellness. Therefore, I use a high quality fish oil, probiotics, multi-vitamin, and anything else my doctor recommends. I also use Muscle Synthesis because from severe pregnancies, I struggle to eat the amount of protein recommended to have a lean physique, which was also recommended and made by my doctor. I want to function optimally, and that’s why I work with physicians that understand this.
Know your food sensitivities which you can talk to your doctor, try elimination diets, or do what I did and just get blood work and work with a Functional Medicine Doctor. I miss the delicious whey and casein protein powders dearly, but due to food allergies and sensitivities, I can only have pea protein. I also can’t have any soy, hemp, or beans to get the protein. Right now I’m using Onnit Pea Protein. It’s thicker than the more delicious whey and casein proteins, but hey, sometimes you have to improvise.
GET A DISCOUNT ON NUTRITION SUPPLEMENTS
Save some money by getting a stack and using my discount code BaileyD10 with Granite Supplements. I do get a small commission for sharing the same products I use and believe in, but at no cost to you.
This is not to replace any medical advice, but to always consult your physician or health care professional.
When gyms closed, I cried a little. I loved being at the gym and didn’t have a single piece of home workout gear. I was miserable looking up Youtube videos and daydreamed to getting back into the gym again. God bless my husband who took 50 pound bags of sand and multiple rolls of duct tape to make 25 pound weights for me.
What can I say, he knows my love language!
I found ways to do squats, chest press, weighted lunges, weighted plies, and shoulder press with those suckers. However, I still wanted more toys and more options for home workout gear. I was still bored with workouts. I needed something fun and challenging.
I looked up some workouts on YouTube and gosh darn it. I was so freaking bored out of my mind jumping, kicking, and using bands in my living room.
If you are one of the few that have a complete set up of a home gym, I was a bit jealous of you. If you have the space in your home to get all the gear, do it. Equipment like that helps you get maximum results in minimal time. Definitely better than prancing around in your living room to YouTube workout videos (I know because I tried!).
If you don’t have the space or budget for a complete home gym that consists of squat rack, leg press, bench press, leg curl machine, leg extension machine, cable machine, or free weights to name a few, here are a few of my favorite things to get instead.
1. BEST HOME MULTI-FUNCTIONING HOME GYM
Over 100 exercises in just one piece. Costs less than buying a full gym, and takes up less space.
In case you don’t have the space or thousands of dollars to spare for your own home gym, you can get one piece of home workout gear that does it all like the Bowflex Revolution Home Gym. It’s pricier that the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE Home Gym, but the awesome part is Bowflex offers financing and sometimes without interest if paid off within 18 months.
The Bowflex Revolution Home Gym is the Cadillac version and more expensive but offers over 100 possible exercises, while the less expensive Xtreme 2 SE Home Gym offers over 70. You can compare the two here.
2. MIRROR from Lululemon
You can do pretty much any workout with live and on-demand workouts from beginner to advanced athletes. From weight training, yoga, dance, cardio, boxing, and barre, you have limitless options to workout form home to get great results. An awesome feature of the MIRROR, is that you get a full year subscription included, and then pay $39/month for the subscription after your year is up, plus a 30 day risk free trial and have 6 accounts set up for family members too.
The MIRROR is beautiful home workout gear and blends right in with your home decor. It’s pretty fancy with all the bells and whistles. They even install it for you, too.
3. HOME WORKOUT GEAR: INDOOR BIKES FOR FULL BODY TRANSFORMATION
Even if you do have full gym access, the VeloCore or C6 Bike are great to add to the mix. These are amazing home workouts to do in minimal time.
The only cardio that doesn’t bore me out of my mind is spinning. I love live classes in person, but sometimes you just can’t get to the gym, which is the whole purpose of this post. Sometimes you only have a 20 minute break to sneak in a power session.
What I love most is the VeloCore Bike. It’s the bike that leans. No other bike does that unless you are out on the roads. With this feature, you are strengthening your arms and core as you ride.
You can choose between a 22 inch screen or a 16 inch screen where you can choose destinations all over the world to bike virtually, get personalized coaching, and trainer-led videos. If you prefer the Peloton app, you can still use their app with your VeloCore or C6 Bike.
It connects to everything that’s anything from Disney Plus, Hulu, Peloton, Amazon Prime Video, all with Bluetooth Speakers. (You do need to provide your own subscriptions, of course.)
SAVE MORE: The less expensive version is the Bowflex C6. It doesn’t have a built in screen like the VeloCore, but you can still plug in your phone or tablet right into it’s holder and stream your choice of subscription from Peloton, Zwift, Explore the World, and more apps. A pretty awesome option that costs much less.
4. VIRTUAL HOME WORKOUTS WITH COMMUNITY
Minimal Home Workout Gear
This one is for the ladies. It’s a sisterhood of women that workout from anywhere with minimal equipment around 20 minutes a day. You get a band for free and community support. The typical membership is $47/month unless you buy the year in full which brings it down to $23.50/month. Say goodbye to calorie counting and long workouts at The Ladies Edge.
5. TEMPO STUDIO
This is a lot like the MIRROR, except it is more than just a screen. It includes dumbbells, barbell, barbell collars, weighted plates, a heart rate monitor, a workout mat, and a foam roller. When lifting the weights, you can lift from 7.5 pounds to 100 pounds.
The best part of the Tempo Studio is that artificial intelligence uses motion sensors and infrared light to 3D map your body and to freaking correct your form while working out. Major wow factor.
Whether you are working out at the gym or at home, you just can’t get sloppy with form (this is the therapist and athlete in me speaking from experience).
When you are working out, you are supposed to get tired! That’s when form starts to slip, and injuries happen. If you don’t have a trainer there correcting you, having this infrared light mapping your body and reminding you to correct your form is a pretty great selling point.
Just like any other subscription, you buy the product and pay the monthly subscription for Tempo Studio but can get now and pay later with 0% APR and pay just $55 for 36 months.
FAVORITE HOME WORKOUT GEAR
While I will forever be a gym girl loving the feeling of loading and unloading plates, this year has taught me to be more creative, and found more workout gear that gives me an extra edge. All great options to add to your home workout solution.
But what matters most is what you enjoy most and will want to do. If you know you don’t like spinning or bikes, then maybe look at a Bowflex Home Gym or one of their awesome bikes. If you want more strength training, you can choose from the MIRROR or Tempo, with Tempo coming with weights and a heart rate monitor.
They all have monthly subscriptions to pay for in order to use, but it’s like paying for a gym membership, but instead you are paying for equipment, classes, motivation, experts, and coaches in the privacy of your own home.
Which one sounds like you would enjoy the most? Let me know in the comments!
Great shoulders are like icing on a cake. The shoulder exercises within The Three Day Body are detailed, helping you activate and sculpt beautiful muscular development and strength. Combined with following the customizable meal plan and personalized nutrition supplements that are part of your program, you will be well on your way to getting strong, lean, and confident.
In order to get maximum results and save time, tag on shoulders and triceps at the end of training chest. Simplify your training and nutrition to get the results you want the life you enjoy!
TRAINING SHOULDERS ON AN EXTRA DAY
If you’d like to focus more on your shoulders, then have shoulders as your 4th training day. In the program, you receive my shoulder workout with permission from IFBB Pro Mike Ely. It’s the very workout I did as my 4th training day to put on more muscle mass on my shoulders to finish as one of the top ten figure competitors at nationals. Again, only training four days a week to get there.
You don’t always need to train harder, but smarter.
That gave me three days a week I didn’t need to train, and I could be better as a wife, mom, writer, and business owner. Freeing to know you can get results and not be obsessive about it, right?
FAVORITE SHOULDER EXERCISES
My favorite shoulder exercises are ones I learned from IFBB Pro John Meadows. He showed me the Heavy Laterals and the Hang and Swings. You use a much heavier weight, but don’t actually do a full rep. I call it ‘finding the sweet spot.’ They are included in the training program and videos below if you’d like a visual no how to do it!
Find the sweet spot to where you swing the heavier dumbbells while standing for the heavy laterals, or leaning face first over a bench for hang and swings.
Dana Lynn Bailey had another great superset I love and the only time I allow myself to be ‘sloppy’ with an exercise. But you keep a bend in your elbows and lift heavier dumbbells allowing a sloppier technique for side laterals, and then drop to a lower weight for the more perfect form and straight arms.
YOUR FAVORITE SHOULDER EXERCISES
So what about you? What are your favorite shoulder exercises? Tell me in the comments!
By training your major muscle groups, muscle fibers are stimulated to burn total body fat instead of thinking you need to live on a treadmill. If looking to get sculpted, lean, build muscle, get strong, and burn more fat, look no further! Your chest is one of your major muscle groups, so it is not to be ignored.
WHY TRAIN CHEST
Your chest is one of the three largest muscle groups of the body. By training the largest muscle groups (chest, back, and legs/glutes), you maximize your effort in less time. That means you get stronger and fitter in less time. Muscle burns fat faster than cardio, so train the larger muscle groups.
HOW TO TRAIN CHEST FOR WOMEN
Don’t be intimidated if you are a woman. Even the tiniest barbie-doll like figures that compete on stage lift heavy, too. It takes a lot more than just lifting heavy to get bulky and put on tons of muscle mass.
I know I was really intimidated to train chest. More because I was so weak when I first started out, and weak when I start over from illness and bedrest. I couldn’t even lift the 45 pound bar with no weight on it. I had to get creative and find the lighter straight bars that were 25, 30, and 35 pounds. I slowly built strength and within a year benching almost my bodyweight.
It takes a lot to get bulky, so don’t freak out.
HOW TO TRAIN CHEST FOR MEN
I then moved on to being the only girl training with the big dawgs. It was me lifting with NFL players, powerlifters, and former World Record Holders in weight lifting. I joined them on Wednesdays when it was their ‘light’ chest day, which was still more than double my best.
In The Three Day Body, we focus on having only three days in the gym so you can be the father, husband, friend, etc that you want to be. You don’t need to live in the gym. Now if you’d like, you can have a 4th training day designated for a lagging body part. These guys used their 4th training day for chest.
Sunday was heavy and hard chest day. Then rested a couple days until fully recovered, then Wednesday or Thursday I would join them for light chest day.
In the program, depending on life and what you have going on, you can keep it to your three days. If you’ve got the room and want to train a 4th day, go for a second day for chest. Typically women like to use their 4th day for legs or glutes, while guys like it for chest or arms.
BEST TRAINING TIPS FOR CHEST
SQUEEZE HARD – Don’t just go through the motion, but squeeze your pecs. Activate your pecs in the beginning of the movement, and keep your focus in the muscle through the entire movement, and at the end of the movement squeeze hard at least another second or two.
SLIGHT BEND IN ELBOWS – Good for cable cross overs or dumbbell flies.
VISUALIZE – Imagine you have a ‘barrel of a chest’ even if you are a small framed person. Put your mental and physical energy into activating pecs, driving energy in your pecs, and being more intentional for maximum results.
SLIGHT DECLINE – In the slight decline bench press, only use a very slight decline to protect your shoulders. Drag a decline bench into the smith machine rack. If no decline bench, then grab a flat bench and place a 45 pound plate underneath one end where you feet is. That’s al the angle you need.
FEEL THE STRETCH – I love this feeling. When warming up, focus on feeling the stretch where your pecs cross over your shoulders in the front. Nothing intense, but just a tiny stretch to activate it and loosen it up. I do a few warm up sets like this just to get the blood flowing and joint loosened up. Lots of old school weight lifters blow out their shoulders and joints from not warming up properly, going to hard-too-fast, or just lifting more than what their joints can handle. Feel that stretch, the blood flow, the joints loosen up, and then slowly increase your weight. Your joints will love it.
DON’T GET SLOPPY – Form is so important. It’s why I’m descriptive in the program and have some of my favorite training videos below to visualize it. Make every rep better than the rep before.
WHEN YOU GET TIRED – If at the end of a set and don’t think you are going make it, dig deep with your focus. I do this on bench press when I switch the mental energy from my ‘barrel of a chest’ (which isn’t a barrel at all), to driving my heels through the ground, squeezing my lats to push the bar up, the arch in my lower back, and the power of my breathe to drive up the bar.
STRECH DURING AND AFTER – Research has suggested stretching the muscle you are activating to help stimulate more muscle growth, while resting between sets. Definitely stretch after because having a tight chest can cause shoulder, neck, and upper back problems.
HOW TO SAVE TIME AND GET RESULTS BY TRAINING YOUR CHEST
You probably have more you want to do than just live in the gym. I know I do. Life is short and there is so much I want to do, and so much to be intentional with. I study and teach the high performance life. It’s important to be able to be the father, mother, son, daughter, business owner, professional, student, etc, and not neglecting it. AKA teaching and living to simplify training and nutrition so you can have the health and body you want, without compromising well-being and relationships.
Being in the fitness industry, I’ve watched many obsess over it to where it was an addiction that destroyed their well-being, relationships, relationship with food, happiness, and sense of balance. I won multiple national qualifying figure competitions training only four days a week, winning against others who lived and breathed it. They trained every day and sometimes twice a day.
There’s more to you than that and you can have it.
You have dreams. You want happy, deep, and connected relationships. You need vacations whether they are cheap or extravagant. You need balance. You need faith. By training only three to four hours a week focusing on the larger muscle groups, you get better results, and you save time to be intentional with just as important areas. If not, the more important areas.
Be intentional with training, and you get maximum results and less obsession. You can have healthier relationships, better results, better well-being, and more time to enjoy your life.
Ya hear me?
HOW TO DO CHEST EXERCISES
Below is a compilation of all the chest exercises that we use in The Three Day Body, man or woman. Although I am extremely descriptive in each exercise to get the maximum result, it’s good to have a visual, too. In case you need a visual, see chest training exercise videos below.
Close your eyes and try to visualize yourself doing it.
Be your own biggest coach and cheerleader.
Get in your own head.
Get in the zone.
Make every single rep better than the rep before and get maximum results in less time so you can enjoy the rest of your life, too.
Have you had those acute or chronic pains where you wondered if it was better to use heat or ice?
It seems like doctors all have something to say, and it’s not consistent across the board of when the best times to heat or ice is. In my experience, one doctor recommended one way, while another recommended another.
The advice I like most is to do what works best for you. If you feel better with heat, then use heat. If you feel better with ice, then use ice.
Unless it’s an acute injury like a sprain, where it’s crucial to use ice in that first day or two.
I prefer heat if needed, but today was a different story.
WHEN TO USE ICE
Today I could barely walk.
It’s been almost ten years since crushing both of my ankles on my snowboarding tour. I had to learn to walk again with a crane lowering me into a swimming pool.
Training for shows was a part of rehabbing my ankles, however, they’ve never gotten to 100% again. It’s a big reason I don’t do any running or high impact.
Every morning I have ankle stiffness and limp for a while until they are both loosened up, they didn’t loosen up today.
Each step was really painful. Like… really painful. That’s when I decided to fill a bucket with ice water for an ice bath. Not a fan.
ALTERNATING HEAT AND ICE
You can try alternating heat and ice. That’s what I do for my hands. Being a Massage Therapist doing Deep Tissue and Sports Massage for 20 years now, my hands easily get inflamed, so I alternate heat and ice, which is really comforting and healing. It doesn’t necessarily correct the deeper problem, but it definitely helps. Professional athletes I work with do this religiously as part of their training as well.
HOW I ALTERNATE HEAT AND ICE
I keep a paraffin bath always waiting for a heat treatment and can follow up with ice mittens. Mine is a Homedics paraffin bath that my mom passed down to me. We’ve been using it for almost 30 years! The thing still works! I simply hold my hands in the hot paraffin wax for a few minutes, and leave on the paraffin for another 5 to 10 minutes. You can also use it for your feet and elbows, softening your skin at the same time.
To use ice, I keep Elastogel Hand Mittens in the freezer to ice my hands after a long day of doing Deep Tissue Massage, Trigger Point Therapy, and Sports Massage. They have a protective lining so the ice is not directly on your skin, so it’s easier to use. I wish I had the one shaped for my ankle before I painfully stuck my foot in ice water. The elastogel’s are so much nicer for wimps to the cold like me!
You can even pop them in the microwave for heat therapy as well! They are heat and ice therapy packs shaped for practically any part of the body such as ankles, knees, shoulders, hands, wrists, back, feet, and neck.
Like I said, I have some in the shape of mittens for my sore hands and love them, but they have basic velcro ice and heat wraps too. I use those during Sports Massage sessions if needed to help an athlete recover.
WHAT A DOCTOR OF PHYSICAL THERAPY SAYS ABOUT HEAT AND ICE
While wimping out every 5 seconds my ankle was submerged, I remembered a conversation with Corey Southers, a doctor of Physical Therapy about heat and ice.
Dr. Corey said, “Over the years, we have come to find that ice is really only effective in the very acute stages of an injury to “take the edge off” of the pain. Once we get out of that first 24-48 hours, you want to back away from the ice, as it is likely SLOWING DOWN the healing process. The body has a very, very effective inflammatory process – which it needs to go through in order to heal something that is injured or irritated. It is very likely that ice slows down that response, which isn’t a good thing – we WANT the body systems to go through that response to take care of the problem.”
Too much ice can slow down your body’s natural response to heal.
WHEN TO USE HEAT
Well, then, can heat help?
Dr. Corey said, “Maybe – but I’m not necessarily a fan of heating pads either. Are they going to hurt anything? Very unlikely. BUT, is the heat generated internally by the movement of the muscles and movement of the fluids of the body a much better solution? Absolutely. Long story short – you need to MOVE.”
Dr Corey Southers getting in a little workout.
He said, “Movement generates heat in those tissues which can help with the healing process and improve the nutrition to the tissues (as well as clearing out waste products from the inflammatory process, etc – but that’s a different topic) in order to assist the body in its healing process. The worst thing you can do is just sit there and do nothing.”
The heat you need comes from the heat generated from your body while moving.
On a side note, I personally love, love, loooove heat. Give me a hot tub, heating pad, or a sunny beach any day!
MOVEMENT IS BETTER THAN HEAT AND ICE
Not just any movement. Precise movement.
Movement that activates the right muscles for your specific situation directed by a great Physical Therapist that has an eye for these things. Someone like Dr. Corey Southers can work with you to determine what’s best and help much better than heat or ice could.
Don’t let it be your last resort like terrible pain or surgery. A great PT like Dr. Corey Southers can prevent it from getting worse and strengthen it.
What type of movement is right for your pain or injury?
He said, “That’s where I come in. Everybody is going to be different in this regard – and we need to take your specific injury or pain into account for this answer – 10 people with the same type of pain may have 10 different approaches for this movement, so it’s smart to address it quickly before it begins to become a more chronic issue. The nervous system is a VERY strong influencer in regards to movement and what it can tolerate/not tolerate without making that pain worse, so we have to work together to figure that part out!
BETTER THAN HEAT AND ICE
That’s when I called Dr. Corey.
I wanted something more than just heat or ice, even though it helps. Especially being that my ankles are bone-on-bone ten years ago after the accident, it’s crucial I make physical therapy a priority.
Precise movement is what my ankles need, instead of covering it up with superficial treatments.
I can keep getting massages, acupuncture, cupping, chiropractic adjustments, or heat and ice, but to really get to the bottom of this, it takes movement. Those things can help treat pain and help with recovery and performance, but it doesn’t get to the root of the problem.
I’m looking forward to starting Physical Therapy! I enjoy it. It’s preventative, proactive, and corrective. Plus, I really hate ice.
So what about you, have you found that you respond better to heat or ice? Or maybe alternating them? Let me know in the comments below!
CONTACT THE DOCTOR
For any questions about any pain that you’re dealing with, or to set up an appointment with Dr Corey to address any of these issues, contact him directly:
Corey Southers, PT, DPT, CSCS
Rehabilitation Redfined, LLC
815-901-1198 [email protected]
@rehabredef on Instagram
Located in Grandview at 833 Grandview Avenue